SHEFFIELD — The North Iowa Studio Tour enters is sixth year this weekend, offering people the chance to talk to artists and see some of the studios where they create.
The tour, Sept. 23-25, includes 19 artists at nine venues. Hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
Bill Mateer is hosting many of the artists at his farm home at 11976 110th St., Sheffield.
He has been involved in the tour from the start, saying it grew out of “Art Effects,” an event held at Southbridge Mall for a couple of years.
“The first year we did the studio tour was really a lot more work for me — a lot of sprucing up of my farm to get ready,” he said.
Now, though, he doesn’t worry about it.
“It’s a lot more relaxed — less to do to get ready. I really credit a lot of good friends and other artists who chip in.”
Mateer took his first ceramics class 50 years ago, and this fall marks his 30th year teaching pottery for North Iowa Area Community College at the MacNider Art Museum.
“Last winter, I had the opportunity to go to Japan with other potters, see studios and visit in their homes. It’s a whole different ball game.”
Some did very controlled pieces, while others had more freedom.
“You never mistake one person’s for another. Your personality altered what you made.”
Artists at Mateer’s farm include potters Margie Kline and Peggy Cornick, fiber artist Linda Sorenson, Camille Lee with soap, candles and aromatherapy, and jeweler Meagan Steinberg.
He plans to give some demonstrations on the potter’s wheel, and hopes Steinberg will also demonstrate.
“She makes every little bead,” he said.
The tour has grown every year, with more artists participating and people coming from farther away.
“People like to visit with the artist,” Mateer said, “to see where things are made.”
This is the first year that Central Gardens in Clear Lake has hosted artists, and Mateer thinks it’s a great location.
Artists at Central Gardens are Wendy Kuhl with alcohol inks, and oil painter Sandra Quintus, as well as Tom Christopher, new to the tour, but a well-known landscape artist who works primarily in pastels.
Also new on the tour is Tonja Ihlenfeldt of Mason City, who will be in her studio in the basement of the former Fifth Street Church of Christ, 502 S. Jersey Ave. Ihlenfeldt paints over photos she has printed on canvas, and donates a portion of the proceeds from her work to help orphans.
Other artists opening their Mason City studios are JoAnne Willemsen, Old Oaks Pottery, 16125 310th St.; Janet Kostka, painter, at Kostka Artistry, 1425 Plymouth Road; Richard Leet, watercolors and pastels, at Suite 425, Brick and Tile Building, 103 E. State St. (Saturday only); David Lee, jeweler, 202 Second St. S.E.; and Pam Bergo Coffey, pottery/painting, 68 River Heights Drive.
Artists at Art on the Plaza, 11 S. Federal Ave., include Brenda Nesheim-Fuller and Tim Fuller, jewelry, Craig Kienast, photography, and Chris White-Rozendaal, fused glass and mosaics, and fiber artist Becky Kyhl.